Are You Allowed to Modify or Revoke Your Will?

Weddings Rings On Top Of Divorce Paper

It’s immensely crucial that you have a legally enforceable and valid will. If your situation constantly change, however, you would also need to update or revoke a previously written will to make certain that your will would always reflect your latest intentions.

How to Modify or Revoke Your Will

You could use a codicil to modify your will. It’s a supplement or additional documents states, revokes, or changes a will or a portion of your will. Every state has its own rules for revoking or cancelling a will, but in general, you could revoke or cancel your will by:

  • Clearly expressing your intent to revoke your will
  • Drafting a new and modified will
  • Marrying
  • Divorcing

What about during marriage or divorce? Generally speaking, your previous will would be revoked automatically if you marry. Attorneys in QLD with years of experience in navigating wills and estates cases adds that this doesn’t apply to wills that were drafted in anticipation of getting married. For example, wills that have provisions in relating to — or in contemplation of — your upcoming marriage. However, according to the Succession Act 2006, you can’t revoke your will due to marriage of the following conditions are true:

  • If a will has a provision for the individual married to the person who passed away with a will, the testator
  • If a will states that the individual married to the testator who passed away should be the will’s guardian, trustee, executor, or advisory trustee
  • If property under the will wouldn’t be passed to the trustee, administrator, guardian, or executor in the absence of a ‘power of appointment

When it comes to divorce, on the other hand, it won’t revoke a will in its entirety, but might result in cancellation of:

  • Gifts that were supposed to be distributed to the ex-spouse
  • An ex-spouse being appointed as guardian, executor, or trustee of the estate, unless stated otherwise in a recently changed and validated will

Your remains legally enforceable until you formally revoke or modify it and even if your circumstances change, your will won’t change until you personally modify it — except if you get married or divorced. That said, if you have a will that was drafted without the anticipation of marriage or if you’re contemplating a divorce, make the necessary steps to modify or revoke your will before it’s too late.